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Original Research

Interdisciplinary Weight Loss and Lifestyle Intervention for Daily Functioning and Psychiatric Symptoms in Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The INTERAPNEA Randomized Clinical Trial

Almudena Carneiro-Barrera, PhD; Francisco J. Amaro-Gahete, PhD; Germán Sáez-Roca, MD; Carlos Martín-Carrasco, MD; António Labisa Palmeira, PhD; and Jonatan R. Ruiz, PhD

Published: June 12, 2023


Objective: Impaired daily functioning and psychiatric symptoms are highly prevalent in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA); however, the effects of weight loss and lifestyle interventions on these symptoms remain uncertain. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of an interdisciplinary weight loss and lifestyle intervention on impaired functioning, psychological distress, anxiety, and depression among men with moderate-to-severe OSA and obesity.

Methods: This study was a randomized clinical trial conducted from April 2019 to October 2020. Men aged 18–65 years with moderate-to-severe OSA and obesity were randomly assigned to usual care (continuous positive airway pressure) or an 8-week weight loss and lifestyle intervention. Primary outcomes were changes from baseline to intervention endpoint and 6 months after intervention in daily functioning (measured by the Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire [FOSQ]); psychological distress (evaluated through the General Health Questionnaire [GHQ]); and anxiety and depression symptoms (measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory [STAI], State-Trait Depression Inventory [STDI], and Beck Depression Inventory [BDI]).

Results: Eighty-nine participants underwent randomization (mean [± SD] age, 54 ± 8 years; mean apnea-hypopnea index, 41 ± 22 events/h); 49 were assigned to usual care and 40 to the intervention. As compared with usual care, the intervention group had greater improvements in daily functioning (mean between-group difference in FOSQ score, 2.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.5 to 3.2), psychological distress (GHQ score, −10.3; −15.3 to −5.1), state anxiety (STAI-State score, −7.0; −11.0 to −3.0), trait anxiety (STAI-Trait score, −6.1; −9.5 to −2.8), state depression (STDI-State score, −2.4; −4.3 to −0.4), trait depression (STDI-Trait score, −3.8; −5.6 to −2.1), and general depression (BDI score, −2.0; −3.2 to −0.8) at intervention endpoint. Similar changes were observed at 6 months after intervention.

Conclusions: This study provides the first evidence suggesting that an interdisciplinary weight loss and lifestyle intervention improves OSA-related impaired daily functioning and psychiatric symptoms. These findings should be considered when evaluating the potential benefits of this behavioral approach for OSA.

Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT03851653

J Clin Psychiatry 2023;84(4):22m14502

Author affiliations are listed at the end of this article.

Volume: 84

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